By MIKE CORDER
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (AP) – Ukraine on Monday called on the UN High Court to order Russia to halt its devastating invasion, saying Moscow was already committing widespread war crimes and “resorting to war-reminiscent tactics. medieval siege “in its 12 years. one-day military attack.
Russia rejected the International Court of Justice hearings and its seats in the Great Hall of Justice remained empty.
On a lawn outside the courthouse, The Hague Peace Palace, a protester placed colored candles spelling the words, “Putin is leaving.” A small group of protesters with Ukrainian flags chanted slogans against the war outside the building’s doors.
Ukrainian Representative Anton Korynevych told judges of the International Court of Justice: “Russia must be detained and the court has a role to play in detaining it.”
Ukraine has asked the court to order Russia to “immediately suspend military operations” launched on February 24 “with the stated purpose and purpose of preventing and punishing alleged genocide” in the separatist regions of eastern Lugansk and Donetsk.
Kiev’s lawyers have rejected Russia’s lawsuit.
“Ukraine is going to this court because of a grotesque lie and to seek protection from the devastating consequences of that lie,” David Zionts told the court. “The lie is the Russian Federation’s assertion of genocide in Ukraine. The consequences are unprovoked aggression, besieged cities, civilians under fire, humanitarian disasters and refugees fleeing to save their lives.”
A decision on Ukraine’s request is expected in a few days. The president of the court, U.S. Judge Joan E. Donoghue, said the judges will issue a decision “as soon as possible.”
If the court ordered a halt to the fighting as requested by Ukraine, “I think the chance of that happening is zero,” said Terry Gill, a professor of military law at the University of Amsterdam. He pointed out that if a nation does not comply with the court order, the judges could request action from the UN Security Council, where Russia has a veto.
Donoghue said Russia’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Alexander Shulgin, told the judges that “his government did not intend to participate in the oral process.”
Due to Russia’s refusal to participate in the hearings, Moscow’s turn to present legal arguments on Tuesday has been canceled.
Korynevych condemned Moscow’s disdain.
“The fact that Russian seats are empty speaks loudly,” he said. “They are not here in this court. They are on a battlefield waging an aggressive war against my country.”
The request for so-called interim measures is linked to a case that Ukraine has filed under the Convention on Genocide. Both countries have ratified the 1948 treaty, which has a clause that allows nations to take disputes based on their provisions to the Hague tribunal.
“Ukraine emphatically denies that such a genocide has taken place and that the Russian Federation has any legal basis for taking action in and against Ukraine for the purpose of preventing and punishing genocide,” the country said in its lawsuit.
Even before the hearing, Donoghue sent a message to Russia’s foreign minister on March 1 insisting on the need to act “in a way that allows any order the court may issue on the request for interim measures to have its proper effects.” .
Jonathan Gimblett, a member of Ukraine’s legal team, stressed the urgency of the Ukraine case, saying that “Moscow’s military aggression could have resulted in a new nuclear catastrophe affecting not only Ukraine or Russia, but potentially a vast surrounding area.” .
He added that Russia “today is resorting to tactics reminiscent of medieval siege warfare, encircling cities, cutting off escape routes and striking civilians with heavy weapons.”
The success of Ukraine’s application will depend on whether the court agrees that it has “prima facie jurisdiction” in the case, which is not a guarantee that the court will finally proceed with the process. Cases in the International Court of Justice usually take years to complete.
Regardless of the outcome of the hearings, they give Ukraine another platform to issue complaints about the invasion of Moscow.
“I think it’s part of a global diplomatic strategy to try to put as much pressure on Russia as possible,” Gill said.
The representative of Ukraine, Oksana Zolotaryova, emotionally underlined the great bet by closing her eyes.
“As I speak, the Russian Federation continues its relentless attacks on our cities, our villages, our villages, our people,” he told the judges.
She added: “We still don’t know the actual number of Ukrainians Russia has killed in the last eleven days. We can only guess how many more will be killed in the next eleven days if this senseless aggression does not stop.”
Follow AP coverage of the Ukraine crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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